By Osteopath, Dr Christine Fraser.

You might have seen on social media that this month is plastic-free July. This is something that as a clinic, and individually, we are striving to reach.

I have listened to a number of podcasts, books and read a number of blogs and news articles about how important it is to reduce our plastic use. Being honest, it’s quite scary and can be a bit overwhelming! You can look at achieving this in a number of different ways but using the KISS principle (keep it simple silly!) is how I approach it. Use up what you’ve got and then when it comes time to buy more, think about a better way.Plastic Free July Tips

After chatting to Podiatrist, Pat Oughtred, about ways he likes to avoid single-use plastics, here are 5 tips that we’ve come up with to keep you on track this July.

1. Reusable coffee cups. We can have a chat about the pros and cons of coffee in another blog but having a cup that you can wash and use again and again for daily liquid gold is a winner. Rather than just gathering them in the cupboard, keep them in your car where you can grab them out and go! You may even see us with the BSMC mugs down at the Bungalow getting coffee rather than using a throwaway cup and lid. Also, there is nothing wrong with having a sit-down coffee.

2. Drink bottle. In Australia, especially in most parts of Victoria, we are lucky to have super high water quality. So fill up rather than picking up a bottle from the shelf.

3. Package wise. Aim for no single-use plastics (gold standard) or look for companies that use recycled plastic packaging. RedCycle bins are set up in most Coles and Woolworths stores. If you look at the RedCycle website you will get directions to your nearest bin!

Plastic Free July Tips

4. BYO. Take your own bags to the shopping – food, fresh produce or clothes shopping. The other thing you can try is bulk wholefood retailers or farmers markets to source your normal consumables, like fruit, veggies, oats or quinoa, and take mason jars and containers to carry your goodies home!

5. Store wisely. Have you tried beeswax wraps, glass containers, reusable/washable silicons lids to cover everything when in the fridge? Like me, you might have 101 Tupperware containers in your cupboard. Unfortunately, most of these plastics aren’t recyclable, but if used over and over again, they still serve a more useful purpose than single-use cling wraps and snaplock bags.

This should mean that you’re aiming to have as little waste in your garbage bin as possible. No, our recycling system isn’t perfect but if you follow the guidelines as much as possible as well as having a think about what can be composted (I love my little indoor compost bin!). Progress is better than perfection and if we all start to get the ball rolling, I have no doubt we will create positive momentum!

If you have more questions or what to share your tips for plastic free July feel free to touch base via email on christine@bellarinesmc.com.au